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Berwick-upon-Tweed in the Great War (Paperback)

Local History WWI Home Front in WWI Towns & Cities in the Great War

By Craig Armstrong
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Towns & Cities in the Great War
Pages: 184
ISBN: 9781473823082
Published: 26th October 2015

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Berwick-upon-Tweed was an important garrison town and regional centre, which, as befit its history, had a strong sense of duty, reflected in its proud martial traditions.

During the catastrophic years of 1914-18 many Berwick families found themselves greatly affected by the war.

Large numbers of Berwick men volunteered to serve in the forces and many were killed. During the first months of war the local barracks were overwhelmed by the number of men volunteering for the King's Own Scottish Borderers, while a great many Berwick lads served with the Northumberland Fusiliers. Others were less keen to serve and this book considers some of these cases, ranging from hairdressers to farmworkers, who were brought before the military tribunal at Berwick.

For many of those left behind the war was a time of worry and hardship. Others saw the business opportunities, and this book includes the telling accounts of the Berwick women who were imprisoned for running brothels, which were used by the many soldiers in the town, along with accounts of petty theft and profiteering.

Berwick also suffered from wartime policies and severe shortages and these issues are meticulously analysed throughout with a view to how they affected the people of Berwick.

As a port, Berwick witnessed the aftermath of the sinking of merchant vessels and the people of the town were keenly aware of the sacrifices being made. They went to great efforts to provide support for those fighting the war, despite the shortages they themselves were suffering from. These efforts are explained in the book, which is a testimony to the bravery, self-sacrifice and determination of the people of Berwick during the Great War.

As mentioned in

Berwick Advertiser

About Craig Armstrong

Born and bred in Northumberland, Dr Craig Armstrong is an experienced historian with a special interest in the history of the North East of England and the Anglo-Scottish Borders. He has expertise in nineteenth- and twentieth-century history with a particular focus on social and military history. Dr Armstrong currently splits his time between teaching at Newcastle University and working as a freelance researcher and writer on all things North Eastern.

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In 1939, North Northumberland shared a proud tradition of military service with it’s wider region and this was reflected in the huge numbers of men and women from the area who came forward for service in the military or in roles such as the Home Guard, ARP services or nursing. This part of Northumberland was a key recruitment centre for the local county regiment, the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, with men from the area being heavily involved in the fighting during the blitzkrieg of France and the Low Countries, the miracle of Dunkirk, as well as many more battles. Yet, to the dismay of many,…

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